The Final Chapter has arrived! Unlike the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises, I actually mean it. At least until next year, that is. Let’s get on with it…
BLOOD MOON (dir. Ana Lily Amirpour)
Anyone who has sat down with The Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and/or The Bad Batch knows that Ana Lily Amirpour makes odd films. I live for odd films. Will Blood Moon be a winner? I have no idea, but there’s no way in hell that I am going to miss it when it finally arrives.
THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA (dir. Michael Chaves)
This is our latest wraith-fueled studio offering from New Line Cinema and producer James Wan. Shockingly enough, it is not a part of The Conjuring universe (at least as far as we know). That said, New Line and Wan were apparently so impressed with this film that they handed Chaves the reins on The Conjuring 3, so don’t be too surprised if it plays rolls around in ghosts tropes in similar ways.
THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME (dir. Antonio Campos)
This one hasn’t shot yet, so there’s a good chance it won’t actually see release until 2020. That said, it’s the latest from Antonio Campos (Simon Killer, Christine), so it deserves a slot regardless. Besides, the cast for this horror novel adaptation is absolutely insane: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Chris Evans, Tom Holland, Tracy Letts, Mia Goth, and Bill Skarsgard! Good lord.
ELI (dir. Ciaran Foy)
The director of Citadel and Sinister 2 brings us a children in peril terror tale. Not much is known beyond that, aside from the fact that the film is yet another one that Paramount has offloaded onto Netflix. On the one hand, that could point towards a Cloverfield Paradox-esque mess. On the other hand, Paramount is in massive financial trouble and needs money and selling off a horror film is an easy payday. I’m willing to give Foy the benefit of the doubt here and you should too.
GIRL WITH NO MOUTH (dir. Can Evrenol)
Evrenol’s debut feature, Baskin, remains one of the best horror films that I have seen this decade. His second film, Housewife, suffered a bit from sophomore slump syndrome, but still contained some killer imagery. Will he bounce back fully with his third outing? Only time will tell, but I’m pulling for him.
THE HUNT (dir. Craig Zobel)
The Purge franchise might be sticking to television for the moment, but that doesn’t mean that Blumhouse is laying off the political allegory train. Rumor has it this film might revolve around liberals hunting down deplorable conservatives. If true, that’s one hell of a tonal tightrope to attempt a walk across, so fingers crossed that it works out well. Thankfully they at least have Craig Zobel (Compliance, Z for Zachariah) behind the wheel. I sincerely hope they can pull it off and deliver something as scathing as Get Out and The Purge: Anarchy.
JOHNNY Z (dir. Jonathan Straiton)
Jonathan Straiton’s Night of Something Strange was one of the more gruesome and disgusting films that I bore witness to at Nightmares Film Festival 2016. While it was really my kind of film, there was enough energy and creativity on display that I knew I needed to keep an eye out for whatever Straiton made next. That moment is upon us in the form of a martial arts-tinged horror action flick. I don’t know if I’ll like it. I just know that I need to see it.
LITTLE MONSTERS (dir. Abe Forsythe)
This is a 2018 festival darling that revolves around Lupita Nyong’o killing zombies. ‘Nuff said.
MA (dir. Tate Taylor)
The star and director of The Help reteam on a horror film? That’s certainly an unexpected turn of events, but one odd enough to capture my attention. It will be incredibly interesting to see what Blumhouse has up its sleeve on this one.
THE RECKONING (dir. Neil Marshall)
This is another indie horror flick that may not see release until 2020, but again…look at the director. I can’t not include it! The Reckoning sees Neil Marshall dipping his toes back into period piece territory with a terror tale involving witch trials and the Devil himself. Sold.
SEPARATION (dir. William Brent Bell)
Bell’s 2012 film, The Devil Inside, is still ridiculed for its ending by horror fans the world ’round to this very day and rightfully so. That said, the man has since managed to redeem himself with good programmers like Wer and The Boy. Hell, I don’t even mind his debut, Stay Alive. I have no idea what this particular project is about, but Bell has earned my trust at this point.
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (dir. Ruben Fleischer)
It took them a decade, but we are finally getting a Zombieland sequel. Not only that, but the original cast is back, presumably with even Bill Murray in tow. It’s honestly a bit of a miracle that this has finally happened, so let’s all chug some Mountain Dew Code Red in its honor and hope it’s worth the wait. Actually, strike that. Not the hope part, but the Code Red part. That stuff is revolting.
And Five To Grow On…
Did you know that Universal made a new Doom movie? Well they have. Mind you it’s probably going straight to VOD, but it’s not as if similar efforts like the Tremors and Death Race sequels haven’t turned out well. We’re also getting an assortment of remakes and re-adaptations this year. MGM has remade the original Child’s Play. Someone has remade Jacob’s Ladder. The Soska Sisters have re-envisioned Cronenberg’s Rabid. Oh, and Todd MacFarlane is directing a new take on his comic opus, Spawn. Here’s hoping at least a few of these earn two thumbs up from yours truly.